What Is the Ruling on Calling Transgender and Non-binary People by Their Preferred Pronouns?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


Is it disbelief to refer to someone by their chosen pronouns if they imitate or look to be the opposite gender than they actually are (e.g., a man trying to become a female), or is it just sinful?

What if you don’t believe their actions are moral or legal, and that you only refer to them as such since it is the law of the land and to avoid disputes?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

It will not be disbelief to call someone by their preferred pronouns as long as you have to use them due to the law of the land and to avoid conflict. While being completely strong in one’s own beliefs and lifestyles. We hate the sin, not the sinner, and think the action is wrong and sinful.

We need to show compassion and give advice where possible, even if we understand that they are wrong. We also need to join others who believe in the sanctity of family and gender. Allah is on our side. He is the Creator and Maker, but for our part, we should also take the social and political means to win this social battle, and we cannot do this by ourselves but by joining with others who believe in so too.

Whoever Sees Evil Should Change it if Possible

Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever among you sees evil, let him change it with his hand. If he cannot do so, then with his tongue. If he cannot do so, then with his heart, which is the weakest level of faith.” [Muslim]


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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.